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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

VON  HTJMBOjLBT.             -     315
description of the mountain, of the arrangements and
constitution of this peculiar world, and tlie life and
character of the people wlio take refuge in these soli-
tudes. From tlie cloister lie leads the reader to the
hermitages surrounding it; speaks of the extraordi-
nary play of clouds beneath his feet, of the sea, the
mountains of B,ousillon? and the snow-covered tops of
the Pyrenees in the distance, in an entirely peculiar
manner,, a master-piece of art. The letter concludes
by an extract of a letter from Ms brother, who had
visited the mountain in the previous year, and exa-
mined its mineralogic constitution.
The great Spanish journey terminated at the eas-
tern point of the Pyrenees, and amid the plains and
mountains of Catalonia. It was of lasting influence
upon Humboldt, for this country, and this nation,
especially, afforded Mm a treasure of enjoyment and
instruction. The acquaintance with this southern
primitive nation not only extended his knowledge of
humanity, but it annihilated many of the prejudices
existing against the character of this people in the
rest of Europe. It is probable that Humboldt was
one of the first among German statesmen who lent
their attention to the Spanish rebellion* The peculi-
arities of the nation, and its various tribes, also
afforded plentiful material for political instruction and
reflection.
The fruits of this journeywin art and science were
not less abundant. His love and his appreciation of
the fine arts, especially of painting, was increased, and
also his knowledge of antiquity, and of the archi-
tecture of the ancients. The Basque language had
excited his especial interest, and induced Mm to further
investigations,, and finally Ms journey was prolific for
Ms other philological studies; in Spain, and afterwarfs
in Rome, he brought together such a numerous col-
lection of American, dictionaries as had never "before
existed.                     ---------
In the spring of 1800 Hurnboldt wife Ms feffiily
returned to Paris. Imminent aad .tfaceafeniBg -want